An insider’s guide to Wimbledon
Big day at Wimbledon today. The men’s quarter-finals. Andy Murray plays entirely likeable Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Centre Court amidst a bout of increased pressure following Novak Djokovic’s shock exit. But what’s it really like at Wimbledon? Is it as middle-class as it looks? Here’s explaining all…
Tickets and queuing
Ground passes are great, affordable and easy to get hold of if you don’t mind an early start. Make sure you pack a picnic though – the food queues are usually long and popping to Waitrose first means the day is much more affordable.
Camping is a great option if you’re planning to go to the event with a group. Rock up at lunch time the day before you want to attend and set up with a roll mat and some sort of coverage in the queue. A lovely steward will give you a queue card so there’s no cutting going on (so British).
The camp site has loo facilities but sadly no showers, so bring wet wipes. The following morning a steward will gently shake your tent to wake you up – I warn you it will be early (around 5am) and you will be asked to get ready and take down your tent. Then you mooch about in the queue until you go through security and enter the grounds. It’s a swift, organised, and fun option. Pimm’s is optional.
This differs greatly depending on where you’re spending the day. If you’ll be swanning around the Royal Box or hospitality, a blazer for men and a dress for women are both ideal. If you’re having a picnic on Henman Hill, you’ll want to be comfortable, but not too underdressed. You can wear shorts and a t-shirt, but a sense of occasion still surrounds the grounds.
If you don’t know the rules, look them up beforehand. It won’t be much fun otherwise. If you want to impress your friends it’s worth taking a look at the results from Queen’s and Roland Garros to know who’s on form, and who isn’t. Aside from the obvious names like Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, there’s always a new kid on the block – this year, it’s Austrian Dominic Thiem. Thiem is ranked 15th in the world at the moment at just 22 years old. He’s our one watch this season.